Was I Too Busy to Serve?

“Was I Too Busy to Serve?” Ensign, July 2010, 67–68

Was I Too Busy to Serve?

Ngozi Francisca Okoro, Nigeria

In 1997 our branch president announced that the branch would do a service project in the neighborhood surrounding our meetinghouse. We were doing this activity to join with Church members all over the world in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Latter-day Saint pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

The activity involved cleaning roads and filling potholes. The branch president said we would get dirty but that the activity might give us an opportunity to talk with others about the Church.

I didn’t think I would go because my professor had scheduled extra lectures at the same time as the activity. I felt that everybody would understand, but then I came across a pamphlet titled Faith in Every Footstep. When I read excerpts about the travails of the Saints on their trek to the western United States, I was moved to tears. Some Saints left their comfortable homes to go to a desert, unsure of what they would find. Others forged ahead even after every other member of their family had died along the way. In the midst of sickness, pain, hunger, and poverty, they had faith that if they migrated to the West, they would be free from oppression.

I felt bad that the early Saints had to make great sacrifices, even their own lives in some cases, to see that the Church continued moving forward. Because of their sacrifice and faith, I now enjoy the blessings of the gospel.

I then realized how small a sacrifice I would be making by comparison. I was being asked to give a mere two hours of service and to share the gospel with a few people, and I was making excuses for not attending.

I forgot about the lectures and participated in the activity. I got dirty, but people did come and ask about the Church. I felt happy for being involved, and I have since graduated from the university—despite missing a few lectures.